Tres Jolie

As a person of the Friends generation, I was always Team Aniston.  Today, my perspective has changed and despite my fierce loyalty, I’m adding Angelina Jolie to my roster.  After reading the mega-star’s op-ed piece in the New York Times this morning, I have a newfound respect for her.  She, too, chose to have a preventative double mastectomy after receiving a BRCA1 positive result.  It’s one thing for me, the suburban wife and mother, to shed the killer lumps, but for her to do it under the spotlight of the scrutinizing public eye, it’s a bit different.
Angelina’s body is part of her livelihood and has defined her in many ways.  Tell me that you don’t see a poster of her as Lara Croft and think “Daaaamn, that’s a hot bod! Check out those knockers!” She is iconic in large part due to her appearance, but today, I believe it’s her courage that is her best feature.  Angelina’s natural breasts probably have their own website and certainly shrines around the world.  Yet, she was willing to part with them to extend her life, to be with her children, to show them and the world that she would rather be proactive than vain.
I have always believed that a person’s medical information is very private.  I choose to write about my journey because it has been cathartic, but also to increase awareness in the hopes that my experience will encourage others to assess their own risks and take action to protect themselves.  By sharing her medical choice, Angelina has used her celebrity to do the same, but on a much grander scale and hopefully with a lot more impact.  She is going to help women everywhere know that they have a choice.  Breasts will droop and beauty will fade, but in this case, your health doesn’t have to.

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